Five Poker Variants to Add to Your Home Game
When sitting down to your weekly Texas Hold'em poker home game, having reads on your opponents is always a winning strategy. After all, when you know the people you’re playing with, it can be fun (and profitable) being able to read your competitors like an open book.
However, playing the same poker games with the same people every week might get stale. Should you ever want to mix things up, these poker variants are just the thing to build more excitement around your game.
You’ll have your buddies thanking you and coming back for more.
Double Flop Hold’em
This is a great game to start with. It has similar poker rules to regular Texas Hold’em, but Double Flop Hold’em, as the name suggests, has double the usual number of community cards for you to build your hand with.
When this poker game gets going and the flop is dealt, there are six cards, three for the upper board and three for the lower board. Then the turn cards and the river cards for both the upper and lower board are revealed, with betting rounds in between.
As a player of this fun poker game, your objective is still to make the best five-card hand, using both boards as separate hands. This game only uses one deck, so you can often use that to your advantage against your competitors, because, seeing what’s on the table reveals what’s not in their hand.
Winners are chosen from both the upper and lower board based on the best hand. If that’s you, you scoop the pot, but you’ll have to share unless you have the best hand for each row.
Seven-Card No Peek
This variation of seven-card stud will send you reeling or call for another round. As far as fun poker games go, this one is in the running.
The dealer deals out seven cards to each person, none of which can be revealed, yet. Then, the person immediately to the left of the dealer will turn over one of his cards to begin the betting.
After the bets, the player to the left of the first does the same, turning over the first card. If that card is higher than the first player’s, then the second player will stop turning over cards and the players will begin betting.
If it’s lower than the first player’s hand, that player continues to turn over cards until her hand is higher than that of the player before her. Then players go back to betting. If the cards are not higher than that player’s, the hand is dead. Then the process repeats itself until the last player is left standing.
In the Mexican sweat variant of this game, there is also a face-up card in the middle of the table that the first player has to beat in order to get the first betting round started. If any cards are flipped that are the same rank as that face-up card in the middle, the player must fold.
If you think Texas Hold’em is boring, then this variant can give it a lift. To start with, you get more hole cards than usual; four instead of the standard two face down. Before and immediately after the flop, players must choose a card to discard. Then, back to the games of old. Continue on like a typical game of hold’em.
Of all the poker games in your arsenal, this one may be as true to the name as it sounds, depending on your hand. This poker game is perfect for showdowns and bluffs in a poker home game with many different variations to it.
To start, each player has three cards dealt face down after an ante is set to a predetermined amount. If you’re looking for a thrill, then this fun poker game could keep you engaged whether you have the stronger hand or not.
Starting the game, the player left to the dealer declares “guts” or “no guts.” Guts means that the player is in the hand. If that player had the highest three-card hand, she won the pot. If not, she would match the pot; each player who lost the hand did the same.
As you can imagine, the size of the pot can really grow throughout the game.
This poker home game may seem relatively tame, but little do you know. Obviously it’s not just “pineapple” so there’s a reason for that, but what makes this game is that each player gets three cards, one of which they have to let go of.
That’s not even the “crazy” part though. After the first betting round, the flop is dealt and another round of betting starts. Players of Crazy Pineapple have kept all three cards up until this point. It’s only after this second betting round that players discard one of their cards, having already seen how the flop will affect their hand.
And boy is knowledge power in this poker game. Everything from here on out plays just like Texas hold’em. This game can be played with limits or without, but no limit is particularly amusing because I all the money goes in preflop, there could still be game changers coming.
Or, play this poker game as High-Low split and watch as this game blows the minds of all your closest friends.
Now it's time to put these games to the test! Be sure to tell us your favorite home game variants in the comments section below.